BarCamp urges innovators to develop for the future

Every great revolution starts with a generation hungry for change. The Middle East has had its fair share of them, albeit political ones.

Kenya has not been left behind. The launch of mobile money transfer service M-Pesa was the beginning of a great revolution, taking developers to build solutions too solve local issues.
With M-Pesa, Kenyans began sending money to their friends anywhere in the country without relying on courier services which were slow and insecure. Just as a service M-Pesa has benefits over 19 million Kenyans in their day-to-day lives. It has also put Kenya on the innovation map and won the country several accolades as a tech power house. The truth is Kenya’s tech scene is still in its infancy.

BarCamp, an international network of user-generated conferences with open, participatory workshop-events was recently held at Nailab to discuss the future of tech in the next 50 years.

With content and sessions proposed and scheduled by attendees, the event saw Kenyans discuss at heart the future tools for developers, such as need to have more developers working on Linux, Python and Django than Php.

BarCamp also discussed the future of bitcoins, digital currencies for online purchase, discussed local content creation and promotion and implementation of ideas after conceptualization.

Talking about lessons learnt from BarCamp, Eric Waithaka of Nailab said, “Innovation is more than just having a brilliant idea. Innovation is planned execution, and change management to pivoting, rather than just the idea. Several people can have the same idea but what goes to the market and remains relevant is innovative.”
“Nothing is new. Though languages of the game might change, innovation runs around human needs, he added.

The event, packed to capacity had the Nairobi tech community discuss innovations that will fifty years and what developers need to do to tap into the changing scene of innovation and human needs.

Looking back to our counties, mobile phones have gone deep as everyday companions for farmers, traders and teachers and everyone else. Earlier mobile phones gave people the ability to connect with friends and families, M-Pesa made it possible for them to transfer money, and several others are teaching farmers on best farm practices using mobile phones, but the future is more than basic.

As we Kenya celebrate its 50 years of independence, innovation goes hand in hand with development.

The more innovative Kenyans are, the earlier the solutions to poverty, traffic jams, food insecurity and crime would be found. BarCamp, stimulated the mind to think about solutions for tomorrow.